Cool Class: Real Men Braid At Cozy’s Cuts For Kids Salons

“How many of you guys like it when your dad braids your hair?” Cozy Friedman, owner of Cozy’s Cuts For Kids, asked a room full of 4-7 year-old girls and their fathers on a recent Monday evening. Six skeptical little girls seated in race-car salon chairs stared back at her blankly. One girl in a sparkly headband enthusiastically raised her hand. Other than that, crickets.

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Cozy Friedman shares some tips during a Real Dads Can Braid class.

Friedman hosts “Real Men Can Braid classes at her Upper West Side and Upper East Side salons periodically, by demand. After a father once asked her how to braid, Cozy got the idea to teach braiding classes for fathers. In July 2015, Friedman started hosting the “Real Men Can Braid” class for fathers and daughters in her salons.

Friedman founded Cozy’s Cuts for Kids 20 years ago, and now has two salons in the city (an Upper West Side and Upper East Side location).  In addition to the braiding class for dads, Cozy’s salons offer a variety of programs, such as mom classes and a Valentine’s Day heart braiding class. In 2014, Friedman launched her first SoCozy product line. Free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, the line is sold nationally at Target, Buy Buy Baby, and other stores.

Friedman hosts her “Real Men Can Braid” classes in New York and at other salons around the country. She has hosted classes in Minneapolis, Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington DC. Real dads, not stylists, across America have also hosted these classes in schools, play centers, and children’s museums. Friedman advises these dads on curriculum, styles and products.

When she saw the high demand for these classes, she created the “Power Styling Tools Kit” for dads. The “toolkit” includes a brush, detangler, styling cream, and accessories such as bobby pins and hair ties.

The classes often serve as bonding experiences for fathers and daughters. “It’s so not about braiding, and it’s so about dads and daughters,” Friedman said. “It’s giving dads permission to be interested.”

But in addition to providing a bonding experience, the class aims to make a difference at home by equipping dads with the skills to get their children ready in the morning.

In the class, Friedman uses the helpful acronym D.A.D, which stands for distract, arrange, and detangle. She starts by teaching the fathers the art of brushing, and segues into ponytail and braid techniques.Optimized-DSC_1442 (1)

When a little girl showed signs of a meltdown, Friedman brought out the lollipops.

As the father brushed his daughter’s hair, he soothed her: “You’re being so brave.”

During the class, fathers took photos of their work and showed their daughters, many of whom were surprised by their dads’ abilities.

Friedman emphasized that messy styles are in right now. “It doesn’t have to be perfect,” she reassured the fathers.

“When would you like me to braid your hair?” one father asked his daughter at the class’s end.  “Tomorrow!” she said. “Please! Please!”

At the end of the class, each father received a diploma and each daughter left sporting a braided bun.

The next “Real Men Can Braid Class” will be held on Monday, April 11 at the Upper East Side salon. The class is open to girls ages 5-12. However, younger children are welcome, if parents feel they are ready! For more information, visit socozy.com!

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